Baseball team outfielder aims for center stage

Practice Swing ELAC's center field Kevin Amezquita prepares to bat during a South Coast Conference game against El Camino College on April 5 at Husky Park CN/LILANA MARQUEZ
PRACTICE SWING-ELAC’s center field Kevin Amezquita prepares to bat during a South Coast Conference game against El Camino College on April 5 at Husky Park CN/LILIANA MARQUEZ


By Liliana Marquez

Considered one of the leading sports in the country, baseball has been around for more than two centuries and for Kevin Amezquita it became part of his life since the day he was born.

His father Luis Amezquita said that Kevin Amezquita spent most of his childhood on a baseball field.

“He never said ‘no’ to a baseball game and was always willing to practice and to work hard to improve his performance,” Luis Amezquita said.

Kevin Amezquita, 19, is currently playing his first season with the East Los Angeles College baseball team where he plays center field.

His biggest dream has been to become a professional baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers one day.

“It has always been my dream. Right now it’s my main goal. That’s why I go out there (baseball field) every day, to become a professional,” Kevin Amezquita said.

For him his family’s support is something that has been crucial throughout the years. It has pushed him to always try his best, not only when it comes to sports, but also when it comes to life.

His parents Susana and Luis Amezquita try to attend all of his games whether they are home or away.

“I just do it (play baseball) for them. Sometimes they might not know it and it might look like I am just doing it for myself. I want to be good and take care of them one day, just like they take care of me now,” Kevin Amezquita said.

Born and raised in California, Kevin Amezquita comes from a baseball family. His older brother played baseball and his younger brother currently plays. Their father has been their coach and mentor.

Although baseball is the sport he loves the most, he also plays football and enjoys other sports like surfing and snowboarding.

Kevin Amezquita attended Gladstone High School in Covina where he played varsity in both baseball and football.

He was captain of the Gladiators’ varsity football team for three years, playing both quarterback and free safety.

During his time there, he was named the 2012 All-CIF Northwest Quarterback and the 2012 All-Montview League Offensive Most Valuable Player.

He was also named to the 2012 Tribune All-Area First Team Offense in his senior year.

That season he rushed for over 1,600 yards while scoring 24 rushing touchdowns. He had 1,600 yards passing and threw for 18 touchdowns.

Kevin Amezquita was captain of the varsity baseball team for three years playing both pitcher and shortstop.

He was named the Gladstone’s baseball team MVP and received two First Team All-League awards.

Before attending to ELAC, he attended Chaffey College but decided to change colleges.

“I didn’t really mix well with the (Chaffey) coach and I didn’t enjoy it there. I came here (ELAC) because my cousin plays here. I love it here. It has been one of the best seasons for me,” Kevin Amezquita said.

His cousin, Jose Amezquita, is in his first year with the baseball team as a pitcher and is one of his closest teammates.

“Kevin’s a hard worker. He’s determined on being the best and his hard work is getting him there,” Jose Amezquita said.

To date, the Huskies are tied for second place with El Camino and Long Beach City colleges in the South Coast Conference standings.

Up to now, Kevin has been enjoying his time at ELAC.

“I’ve been really happy, I love the team. We have a really good team this year0. Everybody works hard and we just want to win every game. It’s fun and we all want to win state this year. That’s our ultimate goal, to be champions,” Kevin Amezquita said.

He said his teammates and coaches have become his second family. They spend six days a week together and that has given them time to bond and get to know each other more.

“When you are on a team, everybody gets along no matter where they’re from. We are all equals on the baseball field. I love the amount of chemistry we have,” Kevin Amezquita said.

He also said that the support of their coaches has been very important and that they want to see their players succeed and reach their full potential.

Despite having a couple of injuries, Kevin Amezquita has recovered. His father said even though those injuries were not serious, they made his son come back stronger.

“The injuries have made him more appreciative. They have made him realize that he is not invincible and that he needs to be careful,” his mother, Susana Amezquita, said.

During his junior year at Gladstone, Kevin Amezquita was hit in the head during a football game, resulting in a concussion. The blow caused him to lose consciousness for a short time.

When Kevin Amezquita woke up, he was in pain and felt dizzy, but he insisted on going back on the field. He still wanted to play even though he needed to go to a hospital.

“That was one of the most difficult things for me to watch. My sons are my everything and I just can’t describe what I felt when I saw him on the ground and not moving,” his father, Luis Amezquita, said.

His father also said that strength, love and passion for the game of baseball are what makes his son strive for his dream.

“Kevin always wants more. He has hunger to succeed and he is always willing to do everything he can. He is never afraid of getting hurt to make the play or run to catch the ball,” Susana Amezquita said.

Although Kevin Amezquita also enjoys playing football, his father has never liked it, but still supports him.

“Kevin is aware that by playing football, he is at risk of getting an injury that can end his dreams of playing as a professional (in baseball). He can also get injured playing baseball, but that sport is not as risky as football. Watching him play football is a constant struggle for me,” Luis Amezquita said.

Kevin Amezquita said that coming to ELAC changed him and helped him find his way in life.

“I got a lot of new friends and met a lot of new people. It changed my life because it kind of helped me to get back on the path that I wanted to be on. I just wasn’t happy at Chaffey and I wasn’t playing as good,” Kevin Amezquita said.

“I came here and it changed my life because I felt welcomed. I started to play well. I found myself and I found what I really want to do, which is play baseball.”

As of now, Kevin Amezquita is focused on both his classes and the baseball season, but he is also considering the possibility of trying out for quarterback of the 2014 ELAC football team.

Batter Up- Baseball team center field Kevin Amezquita bats against El Camino College Compton Center at Husky Park on March 20.
BATTER UP– Baseball team center field Kevin Amezquita bats against El Camino College Compton Center at Husky Park on March 20.CN/LILIANA MARQUEZ



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